'To Philaretes From A Philanderer At the risk of digging myself in deeper, it should be stressed that I, too, do not agree that every Frenchman "leads a double private life and enjoys an affair with an actress while 'Madame' stays home alone…" With any luck Philaretes found my comments which suggested otherwise beneath contempt and the French have given up dueling. Not that this is likely to be of any interest to anybody, but I should disclose that the goofy segue to Hanif Kureishi (whom I've never met)was prompted by a petty personal animus. He is a famous author and my "work" - well - reeks* for itself. With respect to "hypocrisy," while his allegedly autobiographical character leaves his wife and his three and five year old sons, I did the same with my first wife and our children aged five, two and one. Mr. Kureishi was instrumental in getting a couple of short stories by one of his students published in The London Sunday Times during 2010. In one of those semi-fictional pieces, a very thinly disguised "me" is depicted as a callous cad who had seen his teenaged daughter (not one of the three above) only a handful of times in her lifetime and who wore an American-flag tie with an American-flag tie clip. If memory serves, the author was incorrect about the tie. * http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/51642
"instead of the 91%[marginal tax rate] favored by Mr. Fitzgerald" -- from a comment above
Noting, as I have, that under Eisenhower a 91% marginal tax rate was in force, and that it would be hard to describe Eisenhower as "a socialist," nor to ignore the fact that the 1950s were a wonderful decade in American life, after World War II but before thedegringolade -- the colossal waste of Vietnam, the breakdown of authority in universities and then the breakdown in the universities themselves, the metastasizing of the Equal Protection Clause and the passage of the second-worst immigration law (the first, restrictive, was passed in 1924) in American history, that heedlessly passed, in a fit of distraction and a desire to please Edward Kennedy, in 1965 -- is not quite the same thing as being, under current conditions, "for" a 91% marginal tax rate. And in any case, judgment about where that rate should be pegged depends, of course, on when it kicks in. At a mere five million a year, or at ten billiion? This matters, and about my views on this, nothing has been said by me, and therefore cannot be said by anyone else.
'Perhaps the public sphere of employment, debt, investments and exports would shinier if that Socialist Worker, Hollande, put the blame on his tools, which include a mere 75% tax on salaries (individual non-salary income not included), rather than the - what was it? - 91% favored in general by Mr. Fitzgerald. And surely the market economy (the existence of which in some form has been accepted by all but the most rabid Socialist, Labourite, Social Democrat or Democrat) is to blame for the fact that the oh so-unhypocritical French pay not even homage to monogamy. In the novel, Intimacy, (apparently autobiographically penned by the British author and socialist, Hanif Kureishi (whose statements in defense of Islam went unnoticed in largely favorable reviews of his work by erstwhile NER contributor, Mary Jackson)), it is said of "Susan" (who's abandoned for a younger woman) that she "...thinks we live in a selfish age. She talks of a Thatcherism of the soul that imagines that people are not dependent on one another. In love, these days, it is a free market; browse and buy, pick and choose, rent and reject, as you like. There's no social security; everyone has to take care of themselves, or not." There is no credible evidence that Thatcher engaged in a ménage à Tory ala the infamous "Anyone for Dennis?" but, while not a member of the John Birch Society, she was known to have tried to work out the kinks of "birching."
Thank you from a French reader for the excellent piece. As to Hollande, I didn't hate the "I have a right to my private life" part as much as the line that came after it: "as everybody does". Just felt he was implying that every one of us "normal citizens" leads a double private life and enjoys an affair with an actress while "Madame" stays home alone…